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Some in Howard County pushing for climate emergency declaration

Students march outside the United Nations during a protest against climate change on September 6.
Students march outside the United Nations during a protest against climate change on September 6. (BRYAN R. SMITH/Getty)

As a nurse, I have held the hand of a man who just found out he was going to lose his foot due to out-of-control blood sugar. He admitted he was abusive to his body. He wished he could do it over again because he would have done the right thing given another chance. “Living with regret is a horrible choice,” he cried.

I sat with a woman when she received the diagnosis of lung cancer. Years of smoking, she said. She started when the tobacco companies created the illusion that smoking was glamorous, before the truth was known. By then she was hooked. She wished she could do it over again, but she knew the hard truth. It was too late. There are no “do-overs.”

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I see the Earth similar to the human body (“The other thing we need to do to save the planet: Eat less meat,” Aug. 15). No matter the abuse, the Earth tries to maintain that beautiful delicate balance. Slowly the Earth just can’t keep up and, like the body, it falls into “disease.”

Then there are all hard decisions. Our Earth is falling into disease. Our lungs are burning, our delicate energy is unbalanced. The Earth is struggling to maintain. Let’s not hear that diagnosis or lose that foot. We must act with the power of chemotherapy. We must nurse the Earth back to health. Another day of abuse cannot be tolerated. We must act now. We must declare a climate emergency.

On Sept. 24, appropriately during Act on Climate week, Howard County can take a major step. Attend the Columbia Association Board meeting 7 p.m., at 6310 Hillside Ct., #100, to support a climate emergency declaration.

Let's fight for this Earth. Let's do the right thing. Let's not live with regret.

Pat Hersey

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